“Can I use a Surface as my laptop?” This was one of the questions we received the most at the Tech HelpDesk at our 2012 National Conference. I was pleased to hear advisors talking about taking Commonwealth tools with them on the go so they can provide services to clients wherever they are. As new technology like the Surface comes to market, we will see a shift in what you’ll be able to accomplish on a mobile device.
Here’s what you need to know about the Surface:
- It has both a tablet and full Windows interface. The tactile Metro interface was designed for the touchscreen experience; its apps and tiles are interactive with a tap or swipe of the finger. You can also flip over to the desktop for a full Windows 7-esque experience.
- The removable cover is a touchpad keyboard, and the tablet itself has a built-in kickstand. The Surface was designed for a laptop-like feel, and it’s not too far off.
- It comes in two different models: RT and Pro.
- RT is great for casual use and accessing the Web. Think of RT as a limited Windows 8 experience. It’s lightweight, has limited apps, and doesn’t have a lot of the features you’d need to make it a true laptop replacement. It’s more for entertainment and light work than it is for business.
- Pro is a few months from being released, but it will get you closer to the full laptop experience. It has the full version of Windows 8 and can run any program you can run on a desktop or laptop. As long as you’re not looking to do any video editing or graphics-intensive gaming, you’ll be able to use it as a laptop replacement.
Since only the RT version is currently available, I would suggest waiting until the Pro comes out or until other manufacturers start coming to market before making a decision. If you’re not interested in a Surface tablet for business, the RT might be right for you.
Questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments section.